Make us your home page

The Daily Drivers: Inside Acadia's new incarnation

It says something about our super-size-me world that a 4,600-pound vehicle can be classified as a midsized SUV. But then the Acadia slots between GMC's Terrain and its barge-sized Yukon. For 2013, the Acadia gets a facelift that brings it in line with GMC's urban-macho aesthetic. We need to look rugged in those school car lines, after all.

Appearance: The Acadia's refreshed design gives it a more chiseled look that taps into the family features of the smaller Terrain. The most prominent change is a front that's more trucklike with a bold three-bar grille. The headlights, hood and fenders also get tweaks. The LED daylight running lights wrap around the headlight assembly for a modern look. The rear glass also is a wraparound, which makes the Acadia look streamlined and long. Our tester came in Crystal Red Tintcoat, which brought compliments from a soccer mom, surely the demographic that makes GMC giddy.

Performance: The 288-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 purrs quietly and is adequate in normal driving, as is the six-speed automatic. The engine seems strained under hard accelerations, but remember this is a beefy SUV at 4,656 pounds (the optional AWD is 4,850!). There also can be some torque steer on this front-wheel-driver. Important consideration: The Acadia handles and feels like a truck, which can make parking lot navigation more challenging. There's also body lean on turns because of its height. It's a good thing that a rearview camera and rear parking sensor are standard. You will need them.

Interior: The layout is much like a minivan: open, spacious and flexible. Cargo space is expansive: 24.1 cubic feet behind the third-row seats, and up to 116.1 cubic feet with both second and third rows down. The Acadia seats seven to eight, depending on the seating configuration. The second-row seats tip and slide forward easily to access the third row. You can also use the walk-through with the second-row bucket-seat. There also is hidden under-deck storage and a power lift gate. As for creature comforts, our tester had the entertainment system for rear passengers, with DVD player, wireless headphones and remote control. The power sunroof with second-row skylight made for a bright and airy cabin. The dash's instruments are clear and easy to read. The center console screen and controls? Not so much. Peter found the 6.5-inch Color Touch display too small for a vehicle of this size. The IntelliLink infotainment system has small touch buttons, but controls for the AC and towing mode are push buttons. Add some oddly marked controls and it's a confusing mix. Our tester did have some trucklike sophistication, with comfortable ebony leather seats with contrast stitching, as well as faux wood grain and aluminum accents. Other complaints: For shorter drivers, entry can be difficult; the side mirrors are small for a vehicle this size, as are the tiny blind-spot mirrors.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Vista: The wraparound rear glass adds design flair.

New grille: It's a more distinctive look.

Ease of use: The SmartSlide Seating System is great for hauling the kids.

Lyra Solochek

Power tailgate: Remotely open and close the heavy lift gate.

Cargo space: Easily fold seats to get up to 116.1 cubic feet of space.

Utilitarian: Minivan convenience without the minivan look.

The bottom line: The Acadia is a nice people mover and minivan alternative with flexible seating. The tradeoff: It feels like the truck it is (oh, that MPG) and the price can quickly escalate depending on trim level and options.

2013 GMC Acadia

Price: $34,050 start, $45,165 as tested


3.6-liter V-6 with

6-speed automatic transmission, FWD

Horsepower: 288 at 6,300 rpm

Torque: 270 pound-feet at 3,400 rpm

Curb weight: 4,656 pounds (4,850 for AWD)


in inches:

Wheelbase, 118.9

Length, 200.8

Width, 78.9

Height, 70.4

Seats: up to 8

Towing: 5,200 pounds

Fuel economy:

17 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway for FWD, 16/24 for AWD

Safety features: Airbags and curtains, rearview camera, stability control system with traction control, ABS, rear parking sensors


The Daily Drivers: Inside Acadia's new incarnation 02/15/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:23am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  2. New York town approves Legoland proposal


    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  3. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate


    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Coming soon at two Tampa Bay area hospitals: a cancer treatment that could replace chemo


    A new cancer treatment that could eventually replace chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants — along with their debilitating side effects — soon will be offered at two of Tampa Bay's top-tier hospitals.

    Dr. Frederick Locke at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is a principal investigator for an experimental therapy that retrains white blood cells in the body's immune system to fight cancer cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved these so-called "CAR-T" treatments for adults this month. In trials, 82 percent of cases responded well to the treatment, and 44 percent are still in remission at least eight months later, Locke said. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  5. Regulator blasts Wells Fargo for deceptive auto insurance program


    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, 2017]